Take a Chill Pill: Relax and Enjoy Your Journey through College

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By Ryan Marshall, Founder 

Do you have an internship? Do you find your internship fulfilling? Do you have straight A’s? Are you involved on campus? Do you know exactly what you want to study? Do you know what you wish to do with your degree? Do you have a job lined up following graduation?

If you answered yes to this slew of rather overwhelming questions, good for you! You seem to be doing well, and I wish you continued success. If you answered no to any or all of the above, guess what? IT’S OKAY!

Many students find themselves stressing out over such things, only making matters worse by adding this unnecessary pressure. We freak out that we haven’t obtained an internship yet. We lose our minds when we get a B- in a class. We question what we’re even doing here when we can’t decide upon a major. By doing so, you’re not only making your situation more stressful, you’re squandering the unique and incredible experience that college presents: learning.

When we struggle and fail, we learn. Through mistakes, through grades, through uncomfortable situations, we take something away with us from those instances that are so valuable to our future success. College is so much more than just studying your chosen major and coasting on through. It’s about discovering yourself, your true potential, and learning outside of the classroom setting. You just have to understand that it is all part of the process of becoming older, wiser, and more well-rounded. Fasten that seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

Should it concern you when you do poorly on an exam, or when you don’t receive an offer for your desired internship? Yes, of course! By no means am I suggesting that you shouldn’t care or should slack off. Desire and passion motivate us and push us forward to success. Just don’t let those happenings deter you from being happy, enjoying your experience, or discourage you from moving forward to being all that you can be.

Take these types of circumstances and see the positive in them.

  • I didn’t get the internship I wanted; review your string of communication and look at what you can do better next time to sell yourself, or what you can do to enhance your personal brand. Just because a company turns you away, it doesn’t make you a failure.
  • I’m not as involved on campus as I feel I should be; do research to find what organizations speak to you and explore what your campus has to offer. It’s never too late.
  • I wish I didn’t blow it by being so shy and quiet at that networking event; understand that throwing yourself out there is a HUGE step forward in becoming a stronger professional and person! Everyone in that room felt the same way at one point in time. Use that as practice and tear it up at the next one.

As singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Every conflict (internal and external) and every mishap has an opportunity for resolution and personal growth. Remembering this when you start to feel discouraged or unsure will help you stay relaxed and help truly paint the big picture. You are not defined by your performance in one semester; rather you are viewed based off of what real-world applications you have linked from what you have learned.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? You probably want to tell me, “Easy for you to say, dude, you don’t know my life.” Touché, I don’t. But what I do know is that right now you’re receiving an opportunity that people would kill to obtain; to have a vast world of advanced education and information in the palm of their hands. Take a step back and appreciate your position.

Not everyone gets in and out of school in 4 years knowing exactly what they want, earning a 4.0 GPA, landing all the opportunities they desired, and doing everything oh-so-right. For some, it takes lots of persistence, patience, and an extra scoop of hard-work, and that is completely normal.

Just remember that no matter what, in every single scenario, hardship, or dilemma, you’re learning. Try to see the big picture and be positive; knowing that in the end it will all make sense. We’re in a pretty cool spot to say that we’re still able to discover and fuel our passions, interests, and desires before we enter the workforce. Not many 45-year-olds are working run-of-the-mill jobs, dreading each day more than the last, could say the same.

So, just relax and enjoy your time here. After all, they say these are the best years of our lives.

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